Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

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RailBaronYarr
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby RailBaronYarr » June 27th, 2017, 10:41 am

I really hate taking this position, mostly because it's impossible to make it without having lingering negative feelings about other good projects we've already done, but $1+ billion is too much for a streetcar with mixed traffic segments. I'm sorry. We need to get our costs under control if we're going to spend that much money on a rail line with far less capacity than a light rail, and (in all likelihood) major challenges to upgrading the line to full-spec LRT in the future (rails, stations, etc).

For comparison, Nice (France) just built a tram that's 7 miles long (vs 12 for W7th/CP options) with 20 stations (same for W7th/CP), but 4 of those stations are underground in a brand new tunnel (dug under a far denser, older, challenging urban environment than St Paul). It cost $970m in purchasing power parity. And it also includes enough vehicles (19, vs the W 7th's need for 15) to run at 3 minute headways. And for that investment they expect over 100k daily riders on opening day, and 140k shortly after. Maybe I'm underestimating the cost of a new bridge for streetcars compared to tunneling+4 stations, but Nice seems to be getting much more for less (and they aren't a unique case).

Back when the estimates said the direct routing by LRT was more likely to be sub-$1bn, I think you could make the case for the benefits of full-LRT over aBRT or streetcars at that cost. But not anymore.

Tcmetro
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tcmetro » June 27th, 2017, 11:51 am

The aBRT has a faster travel time than any of the rail alternatives at a fraction of the cost.

Rail is supposedly going to attract 2x the riders, but doesn't really have any additional prioritization measures.

All this being said, Ramsey County has a transit tax that is going to find the Gold Line and the Rush Line BRTs. There's probably more than enough to build a rail line. Ramsey County could probably (and should) conduct a BRT study to make some real, transformative changes on many corridors. There is a lot of excess space on a lot of arterials for dedicated bus lanes/ways as well as the various off-street ROWs that are available.

mamundsen
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby mamundsen » June 27th, 2017, 12:05 pm

I had this same feeling about Rush Line (which I live very close to) and I have relatives on the Ford Spur. I'd love to see them both as full LRT, but the benefit just doesn't seem to be there. These should both be BRT with option to future upgrade to LRT.

mattaudio
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby mattaudio » June 27th, 2017, 12:37 pm

Why not aBRT now (it could be done within a year if we set our minds to it) and plans for LRT in the future (maybe in 10-ish years)?

SkyScraperKid
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby SkyScraperKid » June 27th, 2017, 12:40 pm

Tcmetro wrote:
June 27th, 2017, 9:38 am
Yes, and probably one car trains vs two or three car trains.
shoot, well if that is the case why didn't they just create a single track ROW and build passing sections at stations? I bet that would have allowed for faster transit and more capacity.

Does anybody know of any game/simulator where you can build a train system and run simulations on capacity for yourself? Such as trying to build a single track ROW with passing only at stations and be able to test to see how much headway can exist and how much capacity your concept would truly have?

phop
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby phop » June 27th, 2017, 2:03 pm

mattaudio wrote:
June 27th, 2017, 12:37 pm
Why not aBRT now (it could be done within a year if we set our minds to it) and plans for LRT in the future (maybe in 10-ish years)?
Isn't ~10 years what we would be looking at for rail if we simply followed the current planning process? This isn't going to be done any time soon.

Silophant
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Silophant » June 27th, 2017, 2:13 pm

Pretty much. I feel like there was talk at one point about CTIB (So, Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, now) just funding this locally instead of trying for federal funding, which should speed the process up, but... lawsuits still take time.

bubzki2
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby bubzki2 » July 5th, 2017, 3:29 pm

PP: A $1.2 billion streetcar line in St. Paul? A vote approaches

"Engineers have all but dropped a possible light-rail line from plans to connect St. Paul's Union Depot to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the Mall of America, but a modernized version of the classic streetcar remains a strong possibility."

http://www.twincities.com/2017/07/04/st ... -voted-on/

mamundsen
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby mamundsen » August 8th, 2017, 6:32 am

Kinda related to this....

Cooper's Foods in Sibley Plaza is closing Oct 24. The property owners say that the old redevelopment plan is not back on the table but they will look for options.

http://www.twincities.com/2017/08/07/hi ... -the-blow/

I have to imagine this is the second most developable site along the potential line. Will be an interesting decade in lower Highland Park.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby DanPatchToget » September 1st, 2017, 8:26 am

Did anyone go to the "Reimagine the Railway" meetings? Depending on the chosen alignment for Riverview it would be great to have an express DMU service on the Ford Spur between the Ford Site and SPUD. There are existing segments of welded rail so I wonder if upgrades would be minor to have DMUs operating.

Here's the website about the Ford Spur Study-https://www.stpaul.gov/departments/plan ... udying-new

Tcmetro
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tcmetro » September 18th, 2017, 4:30 pm

Supposedly the TAC will be coming forth with a recommendation for the LPA at their meeting on the 28th.

Vagueperson
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Vagueperson » September 18th, 2017, 9:32 pm

My prediction is streetcar over Highway 5 (supplemental bridge construction) based upon the presentation we heard at the Transportation Committee. It was funny to hear they would be voting to reduce the options to 6 and then voting for an LPA two weeks later.

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Tiller
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tiller » September 28th, 2017, 12:32 pm

Tcmetro wrote:
September 18th, 2017, 4:30 pm
Supposedly the TAC will be coming forth with a recommendation for the LPA at their meeting on the 28th.
Did anyone make it to the TAC meeting/know what the proposed LPA is? I was going to attend but slept through my alarm.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby RailBaronYarr » September 28th, 2017, 1:07 pm

Someone posted a picture of the slide from the TAC on the W 7th facebook group (which I am a member of for some god awful reason) that Alternative 4b - Modern Streetcar on W 7th via Hwy 5 is the draft LPA. Says it likely qualifies for New Starts funding, is the strongest of the corridor alternatives for New Starts, and meets purpose/need.

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Tiller
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tiller » September 28th, 2017, 3:55 pm

Does that mean streetcar along the length of W 7th instead of using the hybrid/CP Rail option? That seems like a bad idea.

Bakken2016
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Bakken2016 » September 28th, 2017, 7:18 pm

Tiller wrote:
September 28th, 2017, 3:55 pm
Does that mean streetcar along the length of W 7th instead of using the hybrid/CP Rail option? That seems like a bad idea.
I don't think they could justify the cost difference with only saving a minute between using W 7th or the CP Spur. I am just glad that it isn't serving the ford site, since that would have been a huge letdown to the current route 54 riders.

Vagueperson
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Vagueperson » September 28th, 2017, 10:45 pm

No surprise with this LPA, in my opinion. Ford site is definitely a location for strong transit, but it was a large detour from the stated purpose of this line. I am also sort of glad that it is streetcar in that we can bring the St. Paul streetcar plan back to life. Time to look at E7th, Payne, and Rice streets for improved transit / economic development.

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kellonathan
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby kellonathan » September 29th, 2017, 12:20 am

Hmm... Shouldn't CP Spur alignment be cheaper tho? I was guessing it to be a hybrid alignment, for sure, but I guess I was wrong.
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Tiller
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tiller » September 29th, 2017, 12:35 am

As a regular user of the 54 I'm going to be super disappointed if this just winds up being the 54 bus on rails along west 7th. The 54 is one of our better bus routes, to be fair, but we can do better. If we used the hybrid/CP Rail option the vast majority of the route would've been dedicated ROW and easier to upgrade in the future. If it's just a streetcar then future capacity problems are gonna be hard to fix.

alexschief
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby alexschief » September 29th, 2017, 7:55 am

I know I've written plenty about this, but it still blows my mind that even at the STUDY phase, we can't muster the political will to take even a single lane of traffic away from cars on West 7th. Could that parking not be moved into a ramp somewhere? It's absolutely wild. Car travel and car storage come over everything.

That said the CP rail line is simply too far south. Our transit lines and stations have been most successful when they run directly through neighborhoods. Putting this route on the periphery of the neighborhood would, I think, dramatically diminish the likelihood that people north of West 7th would ride it.


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